Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.
This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series. Here are the first two messages in this series.
Here is the topic of study for next week:
- Prayer and Fasting
- The Scriptures for study are: Daniel 10:1-14, Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:5-21, Habakkuk 2:1-4, Mark 9:14-29, and 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Worship and Sacrifice
- My notes can be found here: Simple Discipleship Week 3
- Here is the Audio Teaching from Feb 17, 2016: http://lwcburleson.sermon.net/main/main/20609931
As we begin learning about Worship and Sacrifice, we must first ask ourselves,
What is Worship?
What is Sacrifice?
If we do not have a proper understanding of these things, then as we discuss them, we will never come to a true understanding. My prayer is that as we investigate the scriptures, that we will understand even more the meaning of these and how we can apply them to our lives.
Worship – Honoring and lifting high another as higher than yourself out of a heart of love in response to God’s word, act, or nature.
Sacrifice – Giving up completely something that is greatly important to you for the benefit of another because you love them.
Here, I am talking specifically of the worshiping God, but we worship and lift high so many things that are undeserving. Food, sleep, money, fashion, entertainment, sports, people, can all be worshiped in spite of not being worth it. In this one statement, you may be feeling judged and your toes may feel stepped on, but this is the reality of the matter in my life as well as the lives of so many others.
We have a struggle in the morning when our alarms go off whether we will rise and spend time with the Lord worshiping Him or worship the god of sleep that is so seductive especially when it comes time to make the decision. I could go on and on about each one of these, but every time we choose these things over obedience to God and love for Him, we are worshiping them and lifting them high as the important things in our lives.
In 2 Chronicles 21, we come to learn that we worship God when we accept His word and are obedient without doubting or questioning what He says. Jehosophat had no direct command of God to put His worshipers on the front lines. They did it out of an act of obedience and thus worshiped God by being obedient and trusting in the word of God.
In Genesis 22, Abraham is called to sacrifice his son that God had just revealed was the son of promise. Abraham trusted God in such a way that as they went to the mountain in Vs. 5 Abraham says we go to worship. Abraham’s heart of sacrifice is a true act of worship to God. He was willing to give whatever God asked in obedience out of his great love for Him.
In John 4,
What Jesus mean to worship God in Spirit and truth?
- God wants a constant communion with you in the day to day. He does not want you to worship Him in a church or at your house only, but in the Spirit everywhere you go in every situation that you are in.
- God wants you to be honest with Him. You cannot fool God. He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart. If you are giving Him something small and seemingly mediocre out of a good heart, it is greater worship than giving the very most you have out of a wrong heart. (1 Cor 13:3)
In Malachi 1, God desires our very best. If we bring God half-hearted worship out of duty, these things are not pure and holy and actually dishonor and disrespect God. He would rather no one worship than to have duty-filled worship out of grudging hearts. He wants pure and holy worship that is a true witness to who He is. This only comes when we are giving God our best out of a willing and loving heart.
In 2 Samuel 24, David reveals that God is blessed by our sacrifice more than he is blessed by our excess. We see this concept over and over throughout the Bible that when we give God something valuable to us, that is true worship. Those giving because they have extra does not impress God. Jesus states this in a different way when talking of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God desires our pure and holy sacrifice so He can bless us with better than our very best!!!
Finally, in Luke 7, a “sinner” probably a prostitute comes in to the middle of the pastors and elders of their day. She humbles herself completely to the judgmental and critical thoughts and stares and worships Jesus. This “sinner” sacrificed more and gave more in worship than anyone else around. Because of her sacrifice and true heart of worship, her sins are forgiven, and she is saved. She was forgiven much and so loved much. The fact that she loved much caused her to sacrifice her most valuable possession and her pride as an act of worship to Jesus.
Does you love cause you to sacrifice your pride and valuables in worship to the Lord?
Nothing I have spoken is out of judgment or condemnation, but Holy Spirit has even convicted me in studying these things. Our love for God will always lead us to a true worship which is displayed in what we are willing to sacrifice for our True Love.
Ask Holy Spirit these questions and be obedient in what He is speaking:
Are you giving your very best to God? This is true worship.
What is God calling you to sacrifice to love Him and worship Him in a deeper way?
May you be blessed with knowing more of the Love of God than ever before, and may you receive the fullness of the blessing that comes through true worship and sacrifice.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
As we have been traveling, we have been praying for three specific things: provision, protection, and open doors to the nations. Time and time again, God has been faithful to open doors that only He can. When we set out 5 months ago, we never dreamed of some of the doors He would open. Scotland was a surprise for sure, but it was in the UK which was a place we knew we would be going. However, God opened an unexpected door for us to be in Kosovo for a short time. This was not a place we ever thought that we would be coming. God knew that He needed us here, so He opened the door wide.
One of my friends contacted me and said that she had been following our adventures on our blog and knew that God was telling her to invite us to come to Kosovo. I had never gotten to know her very well, and in fact did not even know she was in Kosovo. Even though we had not been in contact for 2 years, she invited us. We had a difficult time making the decision to come because of our money situation, but we knew that God had opened the door and that we must be obedient to walk through it.
Knowing we were coming here, my wife decided to do some research about the recent wars that had taken place. As she researched, and we prayed about this country, even before we traveled here, God began to speak to me. He began to speak about how the nation was wounded and needed to be healed. As with any serious wound, you do not put a Band-aid on it and walk away. Any serious wound needs to be stitched up. I know this from many injuries in my younger days. The larger and more serious the wound, the more stitches are needed. God began to speak about how every prayer and every act of love was a stitch that was binding up an open wound. This wound that may be healed on the outside must be healed in the soul of the nation as well. If the wound of the soul is not healed, it will often be reopened as a self-inflicted one.
I believe that the long-term prayers and actions of the church and ministries here is to bind love to the spiritual wound of the people. There has been so much suffering and hurt in the people that it seems like their very lives evidence a wounded spirit. This spirit is hurt deeply and ready for conflict. However, as the family of God binds love to the people, this will bring healing stitch by stitch, act by act, prayer by prayer… I found this verse as a confirmation of the work that needs to be done here in Kosovo, but also anywhere the people of God are.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
We are called to live as God’s chosen people. Even as we live in this manner, we know two things. We have wounds in our hearts and souls inflicted by people around us, and people around us also have these wounds. It seems that so many people are walking around with open wounds. We are commanded in these verses to live rightly, forgive completely, and love totally. We must bind love to ourselves and to the people around us that we may walk in perfect unity.
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you any wounds that you may have on your soul. Do these wounds come from others? Are these wounds remaining open because of unforgiveness or an unwillingness to love? Are there people around you that might be spiritually wounded?
With the help of Holy Spirit, begin to bind up these wounds and start the healing process in yourself, as well as the people around you, by forgiving and binding love to these wounds. Part of the ministry of Jesus, and our ministry, is to bind up the broken hearted (Luke 4:18). Let us walk in the ministry that God has called us to that we may live in perfect unity!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!